Code 99: Miami
Just as it was before the mutations began, most voters in industrial democracies concern themselves primarily with national security and the state of the economy. However, mutant rights issues continue to generate controversy. In every democracy, advocates for greater monitoring and control of mutant activities have aligned themselves with the party, usually on the right, most concerned with projecting an image of toughness on internal security matters. Those who fight against apparently discriminatory measures have aligned themselves with the party associated with cultural liberties.
Neither side enjoys a monopoly on moral rectitude. To restrict a person’s rights due to a mutation he has no control over seems unfair or draconian, depending on how extreme the truncation of his liberties. But many powers do threaten public safety or national security if completely unchecked.
As both mutants and cops, the HCIU detectives stand in the middle of this ideological divide. Cops believe in authority and tend to see civil libertarians as protectors of criminals. If your play group is like most, they’ll treat the privacy of suspects and witnesses with a cavalier disregard. On the other hand, they’re members, albeit relatively high-status ones, of a group still subject to widespread fear and prejudice. Every day a politician appears on cable news to propose new restrictions on the nation’s mutant population.
Probably because mutation cuts across all class and identity boundaries, anti-mutant measures have yet to win the approval of more than a hard-line fringe. However, mutant rights crusaders are often viewed as annoying troublemakers. Most people, including many of the closeted heightened, basically want the issue to go away.
Mutant politicians have made gains at the local level, where they can draw on concentrated populations of the gene-expressive. There is, as of yet, no mutant occupying statewide office in the US. In many democracies, a single token mutant functionary serves as a cabinet minister—always in a junior portfolio.
2016 Presidential Elections and Resulting Political Climate
Before the spread of the Ghost Flu, the US finally seemed to be regaining its senses after the last big shakeup in 2001. In 2016, Joe Biden ran for office against Chris Christie, losing by a narrow margin to Christie. Christie occupies a moderately conservative point of view, and was instrumental in the rapid response to the Ghost Flu, at first funneling funding into the CDC, and then creating the Bureau of Extrahuman Affairs. He was widely praised for his actions in the post-Flu era, and his popularity soared.
However, after the grace period was over, Christie came under attack from both sides for his actions. The left claimed that he was instituting a new form of internment with Article 18 (even though it provided no basis for incarceration unless a crime had been committed), and the right accused him of enabling the left to wrestle away funding and divert it to special interest groups, namely those serving mutants. Sarah Palin was widely panned after she commented “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a mutie himself, and he’s hiding it,” but her sentiments seemed to reflect the polling numbers. Christie’s approval rating now sits on par with former President Obama’s during the last year of his election.